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Astrological Components


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All of Western and Vedic astrology relies on a graphic: the horoscope.  Most of us are familiar with the natal chart, but we can cast horoscopes for any event, not just births. There are horoscopes for elections, marriage, home purchases, moves, and so on. 


To be able to read the horoscope, the beginner must be familiar with four significant elements that interact with each other. These elements are the planets, the Zodiac signs, the houses, and the aspects. Once you understand the basics, astrology gets to be fun because then you can look at components that help you understand and plan for the future. Two of these elements are the transits and the secondary progression. 


The Planets

Western Astrology uses the seven planets visible to the naked eye, and the last three discovered over the past two centuries. These planets are subdivided into three categories, the personal, social, and trans-Saturnian categories. 


The personal planets are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars; 

Jupiter and Saturn make up the social planets, and there are three trans-Saturnian ones: Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. 


The Sun and Moon are classified as planets because, from our perspective on Earth, they appear to travel around us. They are called the Lights in recognition that there are distinct differences between them and the other planets.


The Zodiac Signs­

There are twelve Zodiac signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. These twelve signs are associated with animal constellations developed between 3,200 and 500 BCE in Mesopotamia.


The Houses

The houses are divisions of the ecliptic plane—the great circle in the sky that traces the Sun's orbit as seen from Earth. Both Vedic and Western Astrology use houses. There are many ways to calculate house divisions. Astrologers disagree among themselves as to which system is best. Most use the system they learned. Regardless of their differences, all house systems depend on the rotation of the Earth on its axis.


The Aspects 

This element explains how all the other parts in a chart relate to one another. Planets must be at particular angular distances from each other to be in aspect.

Astrologers compile and use this information to cast a chart and interpret the characteristics of a person, an event, a business, or a situation.


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